I stood in front of the two brightly decorated nursing rooms inside Isetan with baby B screaming “nan-nan, nan-nan” (Baby Lingo for Mama’s Milk) ever so loudly it sounded like a medical emergency from one of the ER episodes!
It was probably only a quick 5-minute wait, but when one is straining to carry a 14 months old babbling baby the generous weight of a big pack of Thai Fragrant Rice on one hand, while clutching on to 2 shopping bags, a baby bag and her handbag on the other, it is entirely a balancing act that only an ingenious mom can manage, such as your truly.
Moments later, a young mother came out from the baby room carrying her adorable sleeping infant in her arms and gave me a warm and understanding nod accompanied by a sweet smile that only a nursing mom would exchange with another fellow nursing mom, as if sealing our sacred ring of Nursing Fellowship and affirmation for one another for choosing to breastfeed our babies despite the odds and pressures of modern days.
All mothers are great and I have had family members or friends who choose to breastfeed only for the first few months and some do not breastfeed at all and with all due respect, I think it is as much a personal choice as the preference for coffee versus tea. You are still a loving mother even if you have had no choice but to go for formula for your cutie pie.
I believe that breastfeeding is nature’s way of extending protection for an infant beyond her nine months inside the mother’s womb. Apart from the protective colostrum, its superior and ever-changing nutrient tailored for human infants cannot be completely duplicated by any infant formulas or cow milk. All these goodness in the mama’s milk have the added advantage of being able to protect babies from contracting certain serious diseases and allergies through their lifetime.
As a working mother, the ability to nurse all three of my kids from the first day all the way through until they were at least the age of two has been a comforting thought during those occasions when I have had to put in the extra hours at work due to my demanding job.
In that sense, when I was expressing milk in the office, I was assured of the ability to nourish her, so that she continued to receive the benefits of antibodies in the expressed breast milk the next day during the day time when I was away at work.
When we were united again at the end of the day, I would happily nurse my baby away from the prying world in our favourite nursing corner. It was our special time together to catch up on the lost time and I cherished those beautiful sacred moments of serenity.
In the exclusive 30 minutes of nursing nothing else seemed matter when the two of us reconnected through an unspoken act of love when the baby would nurse on hungrily as I hum to him or her a song or two, and when her hunger has been satisfied, she would sometimes look up at my face and lovingly touched and twirled my hair with her chubby fingers and sometimes sneaked in a sweet baby smile as I tickled her oh-so-cute little feet.
The only little inconvenience I get from committing myself to nursing is whenever I travel for work sans the baby. Imagine I would excuse myself from lunch or dinner or party and hide in a store room or a baby’s room and pump away few times a day and bring back one full chiller box of expressed milk from a five days business trip!
I still get mixed reactions from people whenever I share that I plan to breastfeed baby B until he turns at least two years old or even beyond that. To me, mama milk is the perfect, most natural food for the baby and the act of breastfeeding the baby has helped sooth away the many bumps and negativity endured from the world for both the mama and her happiest little people.
Yes I get the stares whenever I walked out of a nursing room. Instead of a young infant, I came out with a walking and babbling toddler. Oh bother, this is my moo-therhood and I shall be waxing lyrical about breastfeeding and will carry on till the cows come home. Mooo….
For more tender loving reminders of why breast milk is beyond awesome, do check out this website which had been my source of inspiration through the years: